Sunday, September 12, 2004
A pro-Kerry bias distorts media coverage
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From the RoundTable blog
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Hall is a professor of aerospace engineering at Virginia Tech.
Your lead editorial Aug. 21 ("Campaign poison") states that the allegations raised by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth "are crumbling under the weight of the documentary and testimonial records," and belabors the fact that the 527 organization was initially funded by "Republicans."
Regarding the latter point, of course Republicans are supporting Swift Boat Veterans. Would anyone expect George Soros to fund it? Probably not, as he has already spent more than $10 million funding anti-Bush 527 committees, including a $5 million contribution to America Coming Together, a 527 run by former Kerry campaign manager Jim Jordan.
Of course, there is little or no concern in the press for the inappropriateness of this possibly illegal connection between the Kerry campaign and the supposedly independent committee. Of the 10 richest 527s, nine are anti-Bush, one is anti-Kerry.
Regarding the crumbling of the allegations, nothing could be further from the truth. One of the allegations regards Kerry's now-famous "Christmas in Cambodia" delusions, which, because they were "seared" into his memory, he has repeated for 30 years, complete with comparisons between his "secret missions" into Cambodia and those of Captain Willard in the film "Apocalypse Now."
Although The Roanoke Times and many other "newspapers of record" have given short shrift to this story, the fact is that the Kerry campaign has attempted to revise this story, quietly.
First, the campaign denied that Kerry had ever claimed to be in Cambodia. After being confronted with the facts, the campaign admitted that he had been in Cambodia, but not at Christmas, and that they could not say when he had been there. None of his fellow Swift Boat "brothers in arms," including those few who are Kerry supporters, recall any missions to Cambodia.
We will likely see further revisions from the Kerry campaign, especially if the candidate ever releases his military records in their entirety.
On July 10, on the "Inside Washington" television show, Newsweek assistant managing editor Evan Thomas spilled the beans: "There's one other bias here: the media. Let's talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, want Kerry to win. And I think they're going to portray Kerry and Edwards - I'm talking about the establishment media, not Fox, but - they're going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all, there's going to be this glow about them that some, is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that's going to be worth maybe 15 points."
Thomas was absolutely right about media bias. The establishment media do want Kerry to win, even if it means distorting the news to support their guy. Your coverage, your editorial and the biased refutations you cite are clear examples.